After an intense battle over almost 1,500 nautical miles of tough solo coastal racing, 22-year-old Will Harris became the third Artemis Offshore Academy skipper in four years to win the coveted Solitaire Bompard Le Figaro Rookie title. Champagne Pol Roger is a proud sponsor of the Academy and Will’s victory is testament to the incredible training that they receive.
This is a prize that spotlights young and talented solo sailors as the ones to watch for the future.
Completing the final 130-mile stage, from La Rochelle to the Ile de Yeu and back, in an impressive eighth place, the Artemis 77 skipper crossed the finish line in a time of 20 hours, 52 minutes and 17 seconds.
Harris’ closest rival, Pierre Quiroga on Skipper Espoir CEM, pushed the young Englishman all the way and, during the final leg, was never more than a mile behind him for almost 24 hours.
But in the end, Harris’s sheer determination and gusto prevailed. Pushing himself and his boat, he finished Leg 4 two minutes ahead of Quiroga, securing the Rookie division by 13 minutes and 7 seconds – an indicator of just how tight the race was.
In the overall fleet ranking Harris placed 17th, just under an hour behind top British finisher Alan Roberts (Alan Roberts Racing) in 16th. Harris’s total cumulative time for the four stages was 10 days, 21m and 41 seconds.
Following in the footsteps of British teammates Jack Bouttell (2013) and Robin Elsey (2015), Harris celebrated becoming the third British sailor to win the Rookie title with a well deserved glass of Pol Roger Brut Reserve!